Pentecost and Two Tales of Two Trees

12 Jun

Happy Pentecost All!

If you haven’t read my post Two Tales of Two Trees yet, please do so to understand the context of this post.

For those who are unfamiliar with the christian holiday of Pentecost, here’s the celebrated account from Acts 2:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

To understand the symbolism in this story we might need to go back in history a bit further.  Pentecost is historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus.  Christians celebrate pentecost 50 days after Easter.

Now, recall that I had interpreted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the religious law.  If that interpretation stands then it has significance to the pre-christian pentecost.  Also recall that I had interpreted the tree of life as the unconditional love taught by Jesus.  So this story from Acts seems to symbolize transition.  This transition comes like fire, consuming that which was before.  It came with a new message, one of life and not death.  More so, that message does not simply come in a hebrew tongue.  It came in every language for all men, everywhere.  The Acts 2 account symbolizes the passing of the old narrative of exclusive religious practice. It symbolized the arrival of a new message of universal love. 

1 Comment

Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Christianity, Theology


One response to “Pentecost and Two Tales of Two Trees

  1. Jim Schroeder

    June 17, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I like your line of thought on this Jim and look forward to wrestling with it more in discussion on Sunday at EmDes.


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